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Trying to regain control over your own reaction to your emotionally reactive family member?

That is where reducing conflict begins!

Do you feel like a deer in the headlights in front of your reactive husband?


Does your son or daughter push your buttons with their blame and distorted memories?


Does your mom play the guilt card, resulting in you doing more and more for her until you resent both her and yourself?


You need to manage your own emotions in times of stress and reactivity, in other words, to get out of Emotional Mind and into Wise Mind!


How? Try counting backwards from 5 to 1 through one single exhale!

That step alone might reduce the emotion just enough to unfreeze fear, relax a sense of indignance, or soften resentment.


Next:

Breathe with a few more long slow exhales.

Relax. Make yourself more comfortable. Lean back if you are in a chair.

Let go of tension, especially in the neck, shoulders, and jaw.

Listen fully with eyes and ears and heart, without worrying about how to respond.

Do not interrupt.


When you speak:

Slow it down.

Lower the pitch and volume of your voice.

Pause.

Be curious. Ask questions with genuine interest.

Validate.

If needed take time to reflect on how to respond effectively, once the other stops speaking, "I wonder..." "Let me think about that..." "I don't know what to say..."


Do not jump to problem solving. Do not give advice. Do not try to prove you are right. Do not assume that you have all the facts. Get comfortable with not knowing sometimes!


Connect with your Wise Mind and you will be your own best guide.

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